TCRLA_Public/180911.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                     L A T I N   A M E R I C A

           Tuesday, September 11, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 180


                            Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINA: Needs to Dollarize, Says WSJ
CORDOBA: Fitch Affirms 'B' LT IDRs, Outlook Stable


B O L I V I A

BOLIVIA: Blasts Firm Managing Chilean Port


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: To the Rescue as Chicken Glut Cause Worries
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Eyes More Property Taxes


J A M A I C A

JAMAICA: Moves to End Duty-Free Importation of White Sugar


M E X I C O

CONSUBANCO SA: Fitch Affirms BB- LT IDRs; Alters Outlook to Stable
IXTAPALUCA: Moody's Affirms B1 Issuer Rating; Outlook Now Stable
MEXICO: New NAFTA Shields Country From Auto Tariffs, Official Says


P U E R T O    R I C O

ARQUIDIOCESIS DE SAN JUAN: Taps RSM ROC & Company as Accountant
STAR READY MIX: Sept. 26 Disclosure Statement Hearing Set


V E N E Z U E L A

VENEZUELA: Buys School Supplies, Goods Using Cryptocurrency


                            - - - - -



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A R G E N T I N A
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ARGENTINA: Needs to Dollarize, Says WSJ
---------------------------------------
Mary Anastasia O'Grady at The Wall Street Journal reports that
another currency crisis is roiling Argentina, and a year ahead of
an election President Mauricio Macri is struggling to right the
ship.  The peso has lost half its value against the U.S. dollar
since January. Inflation expectations are soaring.

The report says the central bank has boosted its overnight lending
rate to an annual 60% to try to stop capital flight.  But
Argentines are bracing for spiraling prices and recession.
According to Alberto Ramos, head of Latin American economics at
Goldman Sachs, markets now expect the economy to contract more
than 2% this year and inflation to top 40%, the report relays.

The report notes that the question that seems to be on everyone's
lips: Why is this happening again, under a president who is
supposed to embody change? The answer: Because Argentina still has
a central bank. To fix the problem once and for all, it should
dollarize, says The Wall Street Journal.

It is worth pointing out that the troubles have been brewing for
some time, the report relates.  The Journal says some worried
economists said Mr. Macri was moving too slowly to reconcile
fiscal accounts.

In 2016 and 2017, the government continued spending beyond its
means and borrowing dollars in the international capital markets
to finance the shortfall, the report discloses.  That put pressure
on the central bank to print money so as not to starve the economy
of low-priced credit ahead of midterm elections in 2017, the
report notes.  It was a risky strategy since it was obvious that
the sun would inevitably set on the U.S. Federal Reserve's easy
money policy, the report relays.

According to the Journal, a sharp selloff of the peso in May was
followed by a new $50 billion standby loan from the International
Monetary Fund in June. With a monetary base that is up over 30%
since last year, in a nation that knows something about IMF
intervention, that was like waving a red cape in front of a bull,
the report relays.

The peso was, thus, vulnerable when currency speculators launched
an attack on the Turkish lira last month and the flight to the
dollar spilled over into other emerging markets, including
Argentina, notes the Journal.  After decades of repeated currency
crises, Argentines can smell monetary mischief, the report notes.
A peso rout ensued, recounts the report.

There were strings attached to the standby loan, according to the
Journal.  The fund told the central bank to reduce the stock of
its short-term, high-yield domestic debt-known as Lebacs-because
it is expensive to service, the report relays.  Not rolling over
that debt meant unleashing more pesos into circulation, which
would be inflationary.  But the IMF limited Argentina's capacity
to use the dollars from the loan to sop up those reserves, the
report discloses.

The report notes that Argentine treasury was instead supposed to
issue new debt.  It did so, but not to the extent necessary in the
midst of a crisis.  Plus, markets understand that putting more
pesos into government coffers is not the same as extinguishing
them, the report discloses.

The bank raised reserve requirements and interest rates, but the
panic was on, the report relays.  The demand to hold pesos has
collapsed, the report adds.

According to the Journal, Mr. Macri rattled markets in late August
when he said he would ask the IMF for the next disbursement of the
standby loan early.  The peso swooned again, the report says.

Argentine Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne spent two days at the
fund in Washington, and he expressed optimism about his boss's
request, the report relays.  The deal to release the funds early,
Mr. Dujovne said, could be voted on this month, notes the report.

The peso rallied a bit on the news, relates the Journal.  Yet as
any Argentine understands, an IMF package can't cure what ails the
peso.  This is a long-term political problem that has manifested
itself in repeated economic crises since the mid-20th century, the
report notes.  The government lives beyond its means while taxes
and regulations, particularly on labor, make many businesses
uncompetitive, the report relays.  The net effect is always the
same: ballooning debt and a lethargic economy followed by
devaluation or default or both, says WSJ.

Mr. Macri has sought to heal the country from the polarization
that flourished during the left-wing populism of his predecessor,
Cristina Kirchner, the report relays.  In the early years of Mr.
Macri's presidency, he emphasized reconciliation and shied away
from telling the nation how big a mess he'd inherited.  He also
wanted to avoid a clash with the organized special interests that
have a history of going to the streets and using violence to
protect their privileges, the report says.

Mr. Macri has managed to cut back on electricity, water, gas and
transportation subsidies, but the fiscal deficit -- including
provinces and municipalities -- will still be around 5.5% this
year and 3.5% in 2019, according to Aldo Abram, a director at the
Buenos Aires think tank Libertad y Progreso, the report notes.
More reforms are needed, and the risk of a political and social
upheaval is real, the Journal discloses.

According to WSJ, the fastest way to restore confidence would be
to put an end to the misery caused by the peso and to adopt the
dollar.  Argentines could then get on with the business of saving
and investing in their beautiful country.  Mr. Macri has tried
gradualism.  Now is the time to be bold, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Sept. 4, 2018, S&P Global Ratings placed on Aug. 31, 2018, its
'B+' long-term and 'B' short-term sovereign credit ratings on
Argentina on CreditWatch with negative implications. At the same
time, S&P placed its 'raAA' national scale rating on CreditWatch
negative and affirmed its 'BB-' transfer and convertibility
assessment.  The CreditWatch negative reflects the risk of
worsening creditworthiness due to potentially weakened
implementation of the government's strategy to stabilize the
economy. Exchange rate volatility, as shown by recent pressure on
the Argentine currency, could jeopardize the effective
implementation of economic adjustment measures, absent further
steps to boost investor confidence.  Consequently, S&P Global
Ratings corrected its short-term ratings on Argentina
by removing them from CreditWatch with negative implications.

Fitch Ratings affirmed on May 8, 2018, Argentina's Long-Term
Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B' and revised
the Outlook to Stable from Positive.

On December 4, 2017, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the
Government of Argentina's local and foreign currency issuer and
senior unsecured ratings to B2 from B3. The senior unsecured
shelves were upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3. The outlook on the
ratings is stable.  At the same time, Argentina's short-term
rating was affirmed at Not Prime (NP). The senior unsecured
ratings for unrestructured debt were affirmed at Ca and the
unrestructured senior unsecured shelf affirmed at (P)Ca.

As previously reported by the TCR-LA, Argentina defaulted on some
of its debt late July 30, 2014, after expiration of a 30- grace
period on a US$539 million interest payment.  Earlier that ,
talks with a court-appointed mediator ended without resolving a
standoff between the country and a group of hedge funds seeking
full payment on bonds that the country had defaulted on in 2001.
A U.S. judge had ruled that the interest payment couldn't be made
unless the hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp., got the
US$1.5 billion they claimed. The country hasn't been able to
access international credit markets since its US$95 billion
default 13 years ago. On March 30, 2016, Argentina's Congress
passed a bill that will allow the government to repay holders of
debt that the South American country defaulted on in 2001,
including a group of litigating hedge funds that won judgments
in a New York court. The bill passed by a vote of 54-16.


CORDOBA: Fitch Affirms 'B' LT IDRs, Outlook Stable
--------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Municipality of Cordoba's Long-Term
Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B'.
The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch has also affirmed at 'B' the
Long-Term Foreign-Currency Rating of the municipality's 7.875%
senior unsecured notes for USD150.0 million due Sept. 29, 2024.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Municipality of Cordoba's ratings are underpinned by its low level
of debt, important economic position in the regional and national
context, and its strong share of locally collected revenues. The
ratings main limitations are: the high level of debt with unhedged
foreign currency exposure (as 73.1% of debt is denominated in
USD), short-term debt refinancing risk given the current market
macroeconomic context of interest rate hikes, depreciation and
uncertainty; and the entity's structurally high operating
expenditure and infrastructure needs, resulting in a tight
liquidity position, similar to other argentine peers.

Institutional Framework: Weak, Stable

Fitch considers Argentina's institutional framework weak, given
the country's structural weaknesses, including its complex and
imbalanced fiscal regime with no equalization funding. With recent
reforms and agreements between the nation and provinces, several
important tax and federal revenue distribution changes are
underway. Although major reforms are still pending, the
implementation of some measures tracked fiscal improvements during
the first semester of 2018 for most argentine subnational
entities. The sustainability of fiscal improvements will depend on
economic growth accompanying the process of fiscal convergence,
Fitch will monitor this topic.

Economy: Weak, Stable

Fitch views the economy as weak for all Argentine subnationals
compared to international peers, because they operate in a
macroeconomic context of high inflation and currency depreciation.
Economic volatility is a structural characteristic of Argentina's
weak economy. The municipality of Cordoba is the capital of the
Province of Cordoba and is the second most populated city after
Buenos Aires. The city is one of the most important social,
educational and economic centres in Argentina. Cordoba's economic
activity translates into strong local revenue collection from
taxes on commerce and industry that translates into a strong
collection of local taxes on commerce and industry that in 2017
represented 57.5% of its total revenues.

Debt and Other Long-Term Liabilities: Weak, Stable
Fitch modified this attribute to Weak from Neutral considering
that between December 2017 and August 2018 the Argentine peso
depreciated around 108.5% and Argentina's monetary policy rate
hiked to 60.0%, therefore increasing debt sustainability and
refinancing risk for short term debt. These factors are reflected
in the entity's 'B' ratings.

In 2017, Cordoba's direct debt totalled ARS3.86 billion,
equivalent to 23.6% of current revenues, which Fitch views as low.
Around 73.1% of the city's debt is denominated in USD, unhedged.
The entity's debt is mainly composed by the issuance of the 7.875%
senior unsecured notes for USD150.0 million in September 2016 due
in September 2024. Although external markets are shut down since
around May 2018, in accordance with budgeted and authorized debt,
the city issued short-term treasury bills in the local market for
ARS300.0 million in August 2018. To date the outstanding amount of
short-term debt is of ARS650.0 million of which ARS350 million
mature in March 23, 2019 and ARS300.0 million in April 28, 2019.

The entity's foreign currency exposure is an important weakness,
In July 2018 the entity's debt stock increased to ARS4.88 billion,
because of FX depreciation. After further currency depreciation in
August, Fitch estimates that debt will reach ARS6.6 billion
towards year-end 2018 still remaining at a low level of around 32%
of budgeted operating revenues. Although the notes have equal
balloon capital payments of USD50.0 million in 2022, 2023, and
2024, respectively, in the short-term debt service from the semi-
annual coupon payments will increase the entity's debt
sustainability and payback ratios; however, they remain aligned
with 'B' rated peers.

Budgetary Performance: Weak, Stable

Structural deficits are common in most Argentine subnationals, as
well as high infrastructure needs. Although Cordoba has strong
local revenues, operating margins are volatile because of the high
expenditure burden regarding staff, education and healthcare
services.

Also, the macroeconomic context of high inflation translates into
high staff expenditure ratios. Cordoba's operating margins were
volatile during 2011-2015, averaging -0.01%. In the past two years
financial flexibility improved and margins averaged 4.3%, and the
positive trend continued in the first half of 2018. Improvements
are explained by a fiscal equity agreement between the province
and municipality and because of an improved distribution of
federal shared co-participation tax distribution between the
nation and provinces resulting in higher revenues distributed to
municipalities.

Management and administration: Neutral, Stable

The municipality's management policies have been centered in
strengthening local revenue collection, administrative
modernization, and an important infrastructure development plan
(2016 - 2019) of ARS5.2 billion that intends to tackle the
infrastructure deficit, of which to date the municipality has
executed around ARS2.6 billion during 2016 and 2017. Management of
investment execution could be delayed shall the fiscal need arise
to cushion against higher costs and market volatility. Capex plans
include housing, street lighting, roads, sewage, education, and
other urban projects.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

A downgrade of Argentina's sovereign rating would directly impact
Municipality of Cordoba's ratings, as they are rated at the same
level. Also failure to adequately cover 2019 short term Treasury
bill maturities would negatively impact the entity's ratings.


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B O L I V I A
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BOLIVIA: Blasts Firm Managing Chilean Port
------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that Bolivia state transport company ASP-B
demanded that the private firm that manages the Chilean port of
Arica pay compensations for the loading and unloading delays it
has caused for Bolivian trucking companies.

Speaking at a press conference in La Paz, ASP-B director David
Sanchez said that several decisions made by the Chilean firm TPA
had caused "desperation" among Bolivian truckers because of the
delays, according to EFE News.

The frustration of truckers from landlocked Bolivia are due to the
fact that they have waited up to five days to carry out loading
and unloading operations in Arica, while this waiting period was
previously three days, Mr. Sanchez said, the report notes.

He said TPA claimed that rough waters forced it to close the port
for 10 days, the report relays.

In addition, according to Sanchez, a change in the software used
by TPA shut down loading and unloading operations for another two
days, the report notes.

Because of the delays, Mr. Sanchez demanded that compensations be
paid to Bolivian truckers, the report relays.

The official acknowledged that loading and unloading operations
had started to return to normal, with 200 trucks passing through
every day, yet he insisted on the need to compensate "damages and
losses," the report notes.

"The delays are due to TPA's decisions," he said, adding that the
Bolivian Foreign Ministry had decided to present a formal claim
against Chile, the report says.

Some 40 ASP-B officials work in the port of Arica, where 80
percent of the goods that are loaded are Bolivian, in accordance
with a 1904 treaty, Mr. Sanchez said, the report discloses.

The report relays that the treaty was signed 25 years after
Bolivia lost its Pacific coastline in a war against Chile.

Sanchez said that the Chilean firm had not carried out the
required investments to meet Bolivia's growing shipping needs,
notes the report.

In this context, according to Sanchez, Bolivian goods have had to
be diverted to the Chilean port of Iquique, some 300 km (190 mi)
south of Arica.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 5, 2018, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bolivia's Long-Term
Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB-' with a
Stable Outlook.


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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: To the Rescue as Chicken Glut Cause Worries
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic's poultry sector
is in a glut, since it produces 19 million chickens monthly, but
local consumption is RD$17.5 million, while producers are losing
RD$30 per bird.

Agriculture minister Osmar Benitez said to mitigate the glut's
impact, the Gov. will buy 1.5 million chickens for RD$10.0 million
each month until its price stabilizes, which he affirms could be
at the start of Dec., according to Dominican Today.

He said the Gov. will hold the excess chickens in cold storage,
whether public or private, which will lead to price stability for
producers and consumers as well, the report notes.

"With the cooling of the chickens it is intended to guide the
production that has been modernized and is capable of competing
towards international markets, but first we must ensure that the
Dominicans have 100% of the demand for chicken meat and
strengthening of the public-private partnership that exists
between agricultural producers and the governments that have run
the Dominican Republic," Mr. Benitez, as quoted by Listin Diario,
said, notes the report.

The official added that poultry production creates more than
30,000 direct jobs and has been equipped with modern technologies
that have been obtained in France, the United States and Canada,
the report relays.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 19, 2018, Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BB-' rating to
Dominican Republic's USD1.3 billion bonds, maturing July 2028. The
notes have a coupon of 6%.  Proceeds from the issuance will be
used for general purposes of the government, including the partial
financing of the 2018 budget.


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Eyes More Property Taxes
--------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that the Executive Branch submitted to the
Senate a bill that proposes "a special tax regime with a
transitory nature" to regularize tax payments to Internal Taxes
(DGII) through the declaration or assaying of personal property
and real estate, as well as the possession of accounts in national
or foreign currency.

The initiative, which would be applied based on the Tax Code and
the Money Laundering Law, states that "individuals, legal entities
and undivided estates that declare or revalue, voluntarily and
exceptionally, may benefit from this regime," according to
Dominican Today.

In the proposal submitted on September 3, assets that may be
subject to declaration or revaluation are described as: the
possession of national or foreign currency by deposit declaration
in an authorized entity, the properties over which it has not been
formulated no requirement for payment by the Tax Administration
"may be revalued" and personal property located in the country,
including assets, the report notes.

The bill proposes to establish a tax rate on the total value of
declared assets, as a single and definitive payment, as follows:
possession of national or foreign currency at 5.0 percent of the
declared value; 3.0 percent real estate; declaration of
inventories 5.0 percent, revaluation of real estate 3.0 percent on
the difference between the revaluation value and the revaluation
of assets that entails a decrease in assets, 5.0 percent of the
declared value, the report relays.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
July 19, 2018, Fitch Ratings assigned a 'BB-' rating to
Dominican Republic's USD1.3 billion bonds, maturing July 2028. The
notes have a coupon of 6%.  Proceeds from the issuance will be
used for general purposes of the government, including the partial
financing of the 2018 budget.


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J A M A I C A
=============


JAMAICA: Moves to End Duty-Free Importation of White Sugar
----------------------------------------------------------
Caribbean360.com reports that manufacturers who import white sugar
into Jamaica will now be required to pay the duty up front and be
reimbursed by the government within 30 days.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley
Shaw said this change was necessary as the Government seeks to
stem the illegal importation of the product, according to
Caribbean360.com.

"There is no other way.  That is the way to begin to rescue this
industry," Mr. Shaw asserted while addressing a luncheon hosted by
the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers' Association, the report
notes.

For years, manufacturers have been benefiting from the duty-free
entry of sugar into the country for the manufacturing process, the
report discloses.

The report relays that the Minister noted that since manufacturers
are unable to ensure that the system of importing duty-free sugar
into the country is kept rigidly intact and is not abused, "the
guarantee now no longer exists".

The report notes that Mr. Shaw pointed out that imported white
sugar is increasingly finding its way into the local market, "not
by way of the manufacturing process, but directly finding its way
on to the supermarket shelves and the corner shop shelves of this
country".

Mr. Shaw pointed specifically at brokers, who he said are
brokering on behalf of manufacturers who import the sugar duty-
free, noting that part of the product goes to the manufacturers
and the rest goes into the local market, the report relays.

The Minister said this activity, which he stressed is
unacceptable, is leading to a backup of locally produced sugar
that cannot be sold, the report discloses.

He pointed out that at last check, more than 30,000 tonnes of
locally produced sugar "is sitting around in warehouses, either at
Pan Caribbean or Jamaica Cane Product Sales . . . can't be sold,
while sugar, illegally imported duty-free, is finding its way into
the market, further destroying what remains of the Jamaica sugar
industry," the report says.

He further informed that the Sugar Industry Authority will assist
with the management of the new rebate system and will be done in
collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service,
the report notes.

"I want to say to the manufacturers, we are not trying to make it
hard for you, but the problem is that the system is corrupted and
the Government is going to work with you as manufacturers to make
sure that you get your rebate promptly," he assured, the report
adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 5, 2018, Fitch Ratings affirmed Jamaica's Long-Term
Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B' and has
revised the Rating Outlook to Positive from Stable.


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M E X I C O
===========


CONSUBANCO SA: Fitch Affirms BB- LT IDRs; Alters Outlook to Stable
------------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Long- and Short-Term Foreign- and
Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of Consubanco, S.A.,
Institucion de Banca Multiple (Consubanco) at 'BB-'/'B'. Fitch has
revised the Rating Outlook of the Long-Term Ratings to Stable from
Negative.

The revision of the Outlook to Stable is driven by the
strengthening of Consubanco's liquidity risk management, which
reduced cash flow pressures and significantly decreased asset-
liability tenor gaps. The changes in policies included increasing
the participation of longer-term funding sources in its mix, such
as the medium and long-term unsecured notes, a public transaction
securitization and secured bank credit facilities obtained in
2017. In addition to this, the bank issued unsecured debt for MXN1
billion with a maturity of three years during the first half of
2018 (1H18), and it issued certificates of deposit for MXN1.2
billion with well spread out maturities in order to prevent an
increase in debt maturity concentration. The Stable Outlook also
considers Fitch's expectations that the improvement in
profitability during 1H18 relative to 2017 is sustainable and
could further improve.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IDRS, VR, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SENIOR DEBT

Consubanco's IDRs, national scale and senior debt ratings are
driven by its 'bb-' VR. The VR reflects the bank's small franchise
and low market share in the Mexican financial market, although it
has a solid position in its market niche of payroll-deductible
loans to public sector employees. The VR also reflects the
relative stability of Consubanco's loan portfolio quality and
reasonable profitability despite still lagging behind its closest
peers. While liquidity risk management has been reinforced with
the reduction of asset-liability gaps, the bank's continued
reliance on wholesale funding, in the form of local debt market
issuances and bank facilities, is a rating constraint. The bank's
ratings are also limited by its relatively low Fitch adjusted
capitalization metrics and by the operational and political risks
inherent to the sector it operates in.

Consubanco's capitalization levels reflect lower loss absorption
capacity relative to peers, since the Fitch Core Capital (FCC) to
Risk Weighted Assets (RWA) ratio was 11.7% at the close of June
2018, lower than the 12.9% average of the period from 2014 to
2017. Additionally, this capitalization level could be pressured
in the future by the dividend distribution plans as well as by the
planned moderate growth of the loan portfolio; nevertheless, Fitch
estimates the FCC ratio will recover subsequently with organic
capital generation and due to the bank's objective of maintaining
a regulatory capital ratio above 15%.

The bank has maintained a stable level in the quality of its loan
portfolio. At the close of 1H18, its Fitch-adjusted impaired loan
ratio, which includes accounts receivables from employers more
than 90 days past due, stood at 6.1%, lower than the 7.2% average
of the last four years. The improvement is largely explained by
Consubanco's strategic decision to focus on granting loans to
employees of federal public entities, decreasing the participation
of state and municipalities in its loan portfolio mix. The bank
has shown sufficient reserve levels consistently above 100%, which
reflect its adherence to local regulatory requirements and its
prudent policy of fully reserving all overdue receivables from
employers. Despite the latter, the bank faces the challenge of
reducing its charge-off rate given that the impaired loan ratio
adjusted by the charge-offs of the last 12 months has been
consistently above 11% (1H18: 11.5%). As a mitigating factor, the
recoveries projected for 2018 will be around 37% of the charge-
offs of 2017.

Consubanco's profitability decreased during 2017 as it registered
an operating profit to RWA ratio of 3.7% compared to its past
four-year average of 8.6%, mainly impacted by higher interest
expense and loan impairment charges; nevertheless, during 1H18 the
bank reversed this trend by registering a ratio of 5.2%, benefited
by a decrease in its provisions for loan losses. The bank's net
interest margin (NIM: Net Interest Income/Average Earning Assets)
resulted of 21.6% at the close of 1H18 compared to an average of
31.6% during 2014-2017. NIM declined amid higher funding costs and
the reduction of active rates due to its decision to focus in the
retirees segment which entails a cap on rates charged and due to
competitive pressures. Fitch considers that profitability will not
recover to levels above 10% recorded in previous years,
considering the challenging competitive landscape and the moderate
estimation of loan growth (10% annual), as well as competitive
pressure in other business lines.

Consubanco has performed structural changes in the maturity of its
funding to reduce asset-liability tenor mismatches, given that the
weighted average maturity (WAM) of its funding increased to 2.6
years as of June 2018 from 0.6 years during the same period of
2017. The WAM of the loan portfolio remained at around three
years. The bank's Basel III-compliant liquidity coverage ratio
(LCR) remains at high levels; as of June 2018 it stood at 862.7%.
Its reliance in wholesale funding (both deposit and non-deposit
sources) makes it more sensitive to investor confidence in the
market, which tends to worsen during times of economic
uncertainty.

Due to the bank's business model concentration on payroll deducted
loans, Fitch considers that it is exposed to operational,
political and event risk. The willingness and ability of public
sector entities to fully disburse retained collections may impact
asset quality and liquidity. However, Fitch believes this risk is
mitigated since more than 80% of Consubanco's loan portfolio
corresponds to federal entities, which tend to be operationally
efficient and exhibit virtually null delays in transferring
payments.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Consubanco's support rating (SR) and support rating floor (SRF) of
'5' and 'NF', respectively, are driven by its low systemic
importance. They also reflect Fitch's opinion that government
support to the bank, although possible, cannot be relied upon.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

IDRS, VR, NATIONAL RATINGS AND SENIOR DEBT

Fitch believes upside potential for Consubanco's ratings is
limited in the short term. An upgrade is possible if the bank
materially diversifies its funding base, with a greater relative
contribution of retail deposits and/or unsecured credit
facilities. Further material strengthening of its franchise,
profitability and capitalization could also be credit positive
over time.

The bank's ratings could be downgraded upon an increase in its
risk appetite related to its liquidity risk management or due to a
reduction in its loan quality metrics that significantly impacts
its operating profit to RWA ratio or if its FCC ratio (adjusted
for capitalized fee expenses) decreases below 10%. A material
impact derived from negative developments in political and
business risks could also affect the ratings.

SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Given the bank's limited systemic importance and the almost
nonexistent penetration of deposits, Fitch believes that the SR
and SRF are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Fitch has affirmed Consubanco's ratings as follows:

  -- Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'BB-';

  -- Viability Rating at 'bb-';

  -- Short-Term Foreign and Local Currency IDRs at 'B':


  -- Support rating at '5':

  -- Support rating floor at 'NF';

  -- Long-Term National-scale Rating at 'A-(mex)':

  -- Short-Term National-Scale Rating at 'F2(mex)';

  -- Long-Term National-Scale Rating for local unsecured debt at
'A-(mex)'.

The Outlook of the Long-Term Ratings was revised to Stable from
Negative.


IXTAPALUCA: Moody's Affirms B1 Issuer Rating; Outlook Now Stable
----------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V. changed the outlook for the
Municipality of Ixtapaluca to stable from negative and affirmed
its issuer ratings at B1 (Global Scale, local currency) and
Baa3.mx (Mexican National Scale).

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR THE STABLE OUTLOOK

The change in outlook to stable from negative reflects an
improvement in Ixtapaluca's financial performance that Moody's
expects will support continued strong liquidity, which far exceeds
the municipality's similarly rated national peers. These results
reduce Moody's previous concerns that weak operating balances
would cause further deterioration in Ixtapaluca's liquidity or
lead to higher debt levels.

After posting a very large cash financing deficit equal to 12.4%
of total revenue in 2016, Ixtapaluca reported a 2% surplus in 2017
following strong growth in federal transfers and a small reduction
in capital spending. While Moody's projects the municipality will
likely report a modest deficit in 2018 of 1.4% as a result of
election-related spending pressures ahead of the vote held in
July, this result will not cause financial stress for the
municipality.

After falling sharply between 2015 and 2016 to finance large cash
financing requirements, Ixtapaluca's liquidity has stabilized at
levels that remain very strong relative to peers which Moody's
expects will be sustained through 2019. Cash and equivalents was
equal to 1.2x current liabilities at the end of last year, well
above the 0.5x median for B1 rated peers, and Moody's projects
Ixtapaluca's liquidity will remain at similar levels through next
year.

RATIONALE FOR THE AFFIRMATION OF THE ISSUER RATINGS

In addition to the relatively strong liquidity, Ixtapaluca's
B1/Baa3.mx issuer ratings reflect modest debt levels along with
low own-source revenues, very weak operating performance and
historically volatile financial results.

The municipality continues to report large operating deficits,
which represent its main credit challenge. Its gross operating
deficit averaged 39% of operating revenue over the past three
years, compared with a 1% median deficit among B1 rated peers.
Despite the large operating deficits, Ixtapaluca has avoided
either drawing on its liquidity or issuing debt to fund operations
as it instead used a significant portion of its earmarked (non-
operating) revenues to cover operating expenditures, a practice
that was especially embraced over the past three years by the
outgoing administration. Moody's will closely monitor whether the
new administration that takes office in 2019 redresses this issue,
as well as its plans for capital spending which will be a
determining factor for Ixtapaluca's cash financing needs and
liquidity in the future.

The need to draw on earmarked revenues for operating expenses
stems largely from Ixtapaluca's low level of own-source revenue,
which equaled 15% of operating revenue in 2017. Moody's notes that
property tax collection increased in 2017, up 22% from 2016, and
should this trend continue it will boost own-source revenue and
reduce the potential need for continued use of earmarked revenues
for operations.

Finally, the B1 rating takes into considerations Ixtapaluca's
level of net direct and indirect debt which equaled 28.9% of
operating revenue in 2017, slightly higher than the 22.5% B1
median but still at a manageable level. Unlike many of its peers,
the municipality does not rely on short-term debt to meet its
liquidity needs.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP OR DOWN

Upward pressure on the ratings could arise if Ixtapaluca is able
to report positive gross operating results while maintaining a
strong liquidity position and modest debt levels. Conversely, the
ratings could be downgraded if the municipality's operating
deficits remain weak and its cash financing needs increase,
resulting either in a deterioration in its liquidity position or a
rising debt burden.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Regional and
Local Governments published in January 2018.


MEXICO: New NAFTA Shields Country From Auto Tariffs, Official Says
------------------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that Mexican automakers will be shielded from
potential US tariffs under a side letter to the revised North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico's economy secretary
said.

"The NAFTA negotiations guarantee free trade.  There aren't any
kind of quantitative restrictions . . . or quotas.  There are no
changes in the rules of origin," Ildefonso Guajardo said during a
forum in Mexico City organized by The Economist, according to EFE
News.

On Aug. 27, Mexico and the United States disclosed a bilateral
trade agreement that Canada, which is now negotiating with the
Trump administration in Washington, would be able to join, the
report says.

The report notes that Mr. Guajardo said to protect Mexico's
dynamic auto industry, which employs around 1 million people, a
side letter was secured guaranteeing that US tariffs of up to 30
percent, repeatedly threatened by President Donald Trump, would
not be imposed on Mexican exports.

The secretary expressed confidence that the negotiations between
Mexico City and Washington would allow NAFTA to continue as a
trilateral trade agreement, the report relays.

"Relaunching" the trade pact, which took effect on Jan. 1, 1994,
was necessary because society and the economy have changed, Mr.
Guajardo said, the report notes.

The 2016 election of Trump highlighted the "deep structural
challenges" faced by people who do not see benefits from
globalization or free trade, Mr. Guajardo said, the report relays.

Trilateral trade under NAFTA is worth more than $1 trillion a
year, the report adds.


======================
P U E R T O    R I C O
======================


ARQUIDIOCESIS DE SAN JUAN: Taps RSM ROC & Company as Accountant
---------------------------------------------------------------
Arquidiocesis de San Juan de Puerto Rico seeks authority from the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico (Old San
Juan) to hire Doris Barroso Vicens, CPA, as accountant.

Ms. Vicens will:

   (a) prepare or review required monthly operating reports and
reports pursuant to Rule 2015-3 of the Federal Rule of Bankruptcy
Procedure;

   (b) reconcile proofs of claim;

   (c) prepare or review the Debtor's projections;

   (d) analyze profitability of the Debtor's operations;

   (e) assist in the development or review of a plan of
reorganization or disclosure statements;

   (f) consult on strategic alternatives and develop business
plan; and

   (g) perform any other consulting or expert witness services.

The Debtor intends to pay RSM ROC based on the firm's hourly
rates:

                 Partner        $200 to $300
                 Managers       $145 to $185
                 Seniors          $75 to $90
                 Staff            $65 to $75

Ms. Vicens' current hourly rate is $235.

Doris Barroso Vicens, CPA, a partner at RSM ROC & Company, assures
the Court that she is a disinterested person within the meaning of
11 U.S.C. 101(14).

          Doris Barroso Vicens, CPA
          RSM ROC & Company
          Reparto Loyola
          1000 San Roberto St.
          San Juan, PR 00926
          Tel: 787-751-6164
          Fax: 787-759-7479

           About Arquidiocesis de San Juan de Puerto Rico

Arquidiocesis de San Juan de Puerto Rico -- http://www.arqsj.org/
-- is an unincorporated  religious association in San Juan, Puerto
Rico.

Arquidiocesis de San Juan de Puerto Rico, a/k/a Iglesia Catolica
Apostolica Y Romana, Arquidiocesis De San Juan De Puerto Rico,
filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy
Code (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 18-04911) on Aug. 29, 2018.  In the
petition signed by Father Alberto Arturo Figueroa Morales, vicar
general, the Debtor estimated $10 million to $50 million in assets
and liabilities.  Carmen D. Conde Torres, Esq., at C. CONDE &
ASSOC., is the Debtor's counsel.


STAR READY MIX: Sept. 26 Disclosure Statement Hearing Set
---------------------------------------------------------
The hearing to consider the adequacy of the disclosure statement
explaining Star Ready Mix, Inc.'s plan of reorganization is
scheduled for Sept. 26, 2018 at 09:00 a.m.

Under the plan, holders of allowed general unsecured claims in
Class 3 will be paid on the Effective Date approximately 9.6% from
a $100,000 carve out to be reserved for this class from the sale
of the Debtor's assets.

Cash proceeds from the sale of the Debtor's assets are estimated
at $1,600,000. As per the Debtor's public adjusters, the Debtor
will receive not less than $250,000 from its insurance claim due
to the damages caused to its properties by Hurricane Maria.
Moreover, on the Effective Date, the Debtor estimates that the net
cash in its debtor-in-possession bank accounts resulting from the
collection of accounts receivable, will be approximately $50,000.
Therefore, total funds to make the plan payments will be
approximately $1,900,000 sufficient to make the said payments.

A full-text copy of the Disclosure Statement is available at:

     http://bankrupt.com/misc/prb18-04185-11-5.pdf

               About Star Ready Mix Inc.

Star Ready Mix, Inc., is a fee simple owner of commercial
properties located in Cidra and Gurabo, Puerto Rico, having a
total appraised value of $3.72 million.  The commercial properties
consist of buildings for office, storage, laboratory and
operations.

Star Ready Mix sought protection under Chapter 11 of the
Bankruptcy Code (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 18-04185) on July 24,
2018.  It previously sought bankruptcy protection on May 23, 2011
(Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 11-04254).  In the petition signed by
Victor M. Diaz Morales, president of the Board of Directors, the
Debtor disclosed $4,360,208 in assets and $6,915,084 in
liabilities.


=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================


VENEZUELA: Buys School Supplies, Goods Using Cryptocurrency
-----------------------------------------------------------
EFE News reports that Venezuela's President said that his
government made international purchases of school supplies and raw
materials worth $200 million with the petro cryptocurrency, banned
by the United States and declared illegal by the opposition-led
Venezuelan Congress.

Nicolas Maduro, at a business event that was a mandatory broadcast
on radio and television channels, said that his government bought
raw materials and school supplies -- pencils and notebooks -- from
international companies using the petro currency, according to EFE
News.

"There are those who called the petro a lie. But if it were so why
do they sanction it, why would they persecute it?" Mr. Maduro
asked, the report notes.

"The petro is a reality and we have been doing international
negotiations with economies, governments, states and strong
companies, which will allow us to expand the petro far beyond what
has been its use so far," he added, the report says.

The report discloses that President Maduro introduced the oil-
backed petro in late 2017, referring to the reserves of the
Orinoco Belt, to move towards new financing methods and to
overcome an alleged international economic blockade.

On Jan. 5, President Maduro announced the issuing of 100 million
petros which were sold between Feb.20 and Mar.20.

But the opposition-led Congress declared the petro illegal in
early March, warning potential investors about the
unconstitutionality of the petro and any other currency issued by
the Venezuelan government that is backed by oil or any other
mineral resource, the report relays.

The administration of US President Donald Trump issued an
executive order prohibiting "all transactions related to,
provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United
States person or within the United States, any digital currency,
digital coin, or digital token, that was issued by, for, or on
behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9,
2018," the report relays.

Venezuela launched the petro in the middle of a severe economic
crisis that has led to hyperinflation and shortages of goods, with
a decline in production at the state-owned oil giant PDVSA, the
report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
June 1, 2018, S&P Global Ratings, on May 29, 2018, removed its
long- and short-term local currency sovereign credit ratings on
Venezuela from CreditWatch with negative implications and affirmed
them at 'CCC- /C'. The outlook on the long-term local currency
rating is negative. At the same time, S&P affirmed its 'SD/D'
long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on
Venezuela. S&P's transfer and convertibility assessment remains at
'CC'.


                            ***********


Monday's edition of the TCR-LA delivers a list of indicative
prices for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.
Prices are obtained by TCR-LA editors from a variety of outside
sources during the prior week we think are reliable.   Those
sources may not, however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday
Bond Pricing table is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.
Prices reported are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices
for actual trades are probably different.  Our objective is to
share information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR-LA constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy
or sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR-LA editor holds some position in the
issuers' public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Tuesday's edition of the TCR-LA features a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets obtained by our editors based on the
latest balance sheets publicly available a day prior to
publication.  At first glance, this list may look like the
definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell short.
Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at historical cost
net of depreciation may understate the true value of a firm's
assets.  A company may establish reserves on its balance sheet for
liabilities that may never materialize.  The prices at which
equity securities trade in public market are determined by more
than a balance sheet solvency test.

Submissions about insolvency-related conferences are encouraged.
Send announcements to conferences@bankrupt.com


                            ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2018.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000.
.


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